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Asia Still Dominates List of Priciest Cities for Foreigners

From Associated Press

Despite Asia’s financial crisis, the region still has seven of the world’s 10 most expensive cities for foreign workers, according to a survey released Monday.

Hong Kong replaced longtime leader Tokyo, which slipped to second place, at the top of the rankings of 172 cities worldwide.

Another Japanese city, Osaka, and the Chinese metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dalian also featured in the top 10 of the list compiled by Corporate Resources Group, a consulting firm based in Geneva.

By comparison, New York was ranked 21st. Los Angeles was 51st.

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The financial crisis, which hit Southeast Asia hardest, knocked some of that region’s cities from their previous pricey rankings.

Seoul fell to 48th place this year from seventh a year earlier. Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila; and Jakarta, Indonesia; all of which were comparable to New York in last year’s rankings, are now among the world’s least expensive cities.

The study, conducted in March, measures the relative cost of goods and services. New York is used as the benchmark, with 100 index points.

The study said Chinese cities are becoming more pricey despite low inflation rates. Japanese cities are becoming cheaper because of the falling value of the yen.

Moscow, which dropped to fourth place in the rankings from third place last year, remains Europe’s most expensive city.

Four of the world’s 10 least expensive cities are in Africa: Johannesburg, South Africa; Kinshasa, Congo; Blantyre, Malawi; and Harare, Zimbabwe, which ranked at the bottom.


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